Should Cain's Children Inherit Abel's Property?: Wading into the Extended Slayer Rule Quagmire
39 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 19, 2007
A killer should not benefit from the death of his or her victim. Confusion exists as to whether this notion precludes not only direct benefits, like inheriting the victim's property, but also precludes indirect benefits. Indirect benefits include instances where the individual who inherits the victim's property subsequently gives the victim's property to the killer. The individual may give the killer the property to pay for the killer's legal expenses or to support the killer upon completion of the killer's prison sentence. Generally, the law prohibits an individual from doing indirectly what he or she cannot do directly. This article argues that a killer should not be able to indirectly benefit from the death of his or her victim. More specifically, this article examines case law grappling with the ability of the killer's relatives to receive the victim's property. This article then examines the challenges, feasibility, and necessity of crafting a rule that prevents killers from indirectly benefiting from the death of their victim's. Finally, this article proposes a clearly articulated rule that furthers both the relevant policies and acknowledges the significance of certain facts.
Keywords: Trusts and Estates, Slayer Rule
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